Mechanistic insights into topical tacrolimus for the treatment of atopic dermatitis

Takeshi Nakahara, Hiroshi Morimoto, Naofumi Murakami, Masutaka Furue

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


More than 15 years have passed since the clinical launch of topical tacrolimus for the treatment of atopic dermatitis. Its efficacy and safety have been clearly demonstrated in many global and domestic short-term and long-term clinical trials. Although the prolonged external application of steroids causes many adverse reactions including cutaneous atrophy, no such reactions occur with the use of topical tacrolimus. Therefore, the therapeutic guidelines recommend a combined topical treatment with tacrolimus and steroids. Tacrolimus is a potent immunosuppressant. However, recent studies have revealed its diverse action on the cardinal pathomechanisms of atopic dermatitis. In this review, we summarize the mechanistic role of tacrolimus in various aspects of allergic inflammation including mast cell activation, innate allergic response, pruritus, sensory nerve activation, and skin barrier dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-238
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Allergy and Immunology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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